“Fill your brain with all the facts you need, then consciously empty your mind and pray that it be aligned with a higher purpose. This instructs your subconscious to help you do more than “know” the facts; it instructs it to reveal them to you in a more creative, helpful way. That’s the highest relationship between intellect and spiritual practice.”
I love this statement by Marianne Williamson. We live in such a intellectualised society. We’ve been trained to use our minds to solve all of our problems.
But the intellectualisation of spiritual practice (which seems to be the in thing to do these days), confuses me. Its always been a very organic, intuitive, heart-centered practice for me. Accumulating knowledge and filling our minds with random tid-bits of information and abstract concepts is all great, and entertains and stretches the rational, logical mind. But eventually we need to have the mental control to switch-off our minds and listen to what our heart’s eternal wisdom has to say about all of it.
The ego mind always wants knowledge, as it feels safer, more in control with it. The heart needs nothing – it just yearns for you to listen.
I’m always reminded of something my mother used to tell me whenever I ‘thought too much’, and tried to analyse and understand everything. The Buddha said that if we try to understand the universe with our minds, we will drive ourselves mad. Our mind’s rational abilities are not capable of understanding the complexity of the universe. It uses our past experiences, memories, learned associations and concepts as a framework – and because the universe is immeasurably more vast than our learned understanding in this lifetime, this is not possible.
Enlightenment and spiritual understanding, ultimately, must be FELT. Marianne discusses a symbiotic, balanced and mutually respectful relationship between the heart and the mind – which I believe is needed for true spiritual understanding. After all, through oneness, all the knowledge of the universe is within our hearts. But we need our minds to to recognise this information, to formulate it in a way we can understand (through words/inner dialogue), and bring it to the surface for ego-less contemplation. In this state of pure contemplation, not coloured by the ego-framework of the learnings in this lifetime, but receiving direct downloads from Source catalysed by a piece(s) of information – the insights set-off emotional reactions in the heart-mind, either agreeing or disagreeing. This is when the heart and mind are no longer wrestling with each other (which seems to be the norm for most societies at this time), but working in perfect harmony, which rapidly progresses our spiritual evolution. And once you feel the information, there’s no going back to how it was before. You wouldn’t want to anyway.